There are not many people fond of the ending to Man of Steel—especially Superman’s infamous bout of neck-snapping—and there are many who eagerly await the day for Zack Snyder to apologize for the wanton destruction and general not-Superman-ness of it all. Today is not that day.
Snyder’s latest defense of the many criticisms leveled at the movie come in the latest, Batman v Superman-focused issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland, and the answer is similar to one he gave when Entertainment Weekly asked him why Superman would be so cool with flattening the vast majority of his adoptive city of Metropolis:
I stand by it, because for me, I’ve always said when I was working on Watchmen—and maybe it’s sort of left over from a Watchmen philosophical sort of thing—that there should be consequences to superheroes’ interaction with the Earth. And that was kind of the way that we approached Man of Steel. I wanted a big consequence to Superman’s arrival on Earth. Certainly, Batman v Superman sort of cashes in all its chips on the ‘why’ of that destruction.
You can see where Snyder is coming from, honestly. Delving into the consequences of those actions is something that creates interesting reason for Batman to have beef with Superman in Batman v Superman (beyond the mandatory “it’s a team-up movie, we have to fight first”). But it doesn’t really acknowledge the sheer excess of Man of Steel’s carnage—far beyond anything you’d expect a hero like Superman to inflict on bystanders—or even process the fact that there’s ways to justify the fact that you can have big superhero fights with wide consequences and not make your hero just look like a destructive asshole who doesn’t care (see Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which both make big points of evacuating civilians and defending bystanders as they head into their “blow up all the things” final acts).
At the same time, we shouldn’t be surprised that Snyder will defend Man of Steel to the hilt—and will do so for the foreseeable future. After all, he is still deeply entrenched in the creation of the DC Cinematic Universe, from Batman v Superman to Justice League. Do we really expect him to run around admitting that the cornerstone of DC’s new cinematic universe is flawed ahead of Warner Bros. big tentpole superhero movie? It wouldn’t exactly be the smartest idea. I mean, look at the recent Star Trek Into Darkness apologies from Damon Lindelof and JJ Abrams—those didn’t come until after both creators stepped away from the franchise, and well after the fact.